Lazarus A.D.
Black Rivers Flow


3.0
good

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
January 25th, 2011 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For those who long for new Metallica or Pantera material

Try to imagine Master of Puppets-era Metallica having sex with Far Beyond Driven-era Pantera. If you can do that, you’ll know what Lazarus A.D. sounds like. For those of you who have a little less colorful imagination, Lazarus A.D. is a young metal band that conveniently falls somewhere between the grooves of Pantera and the mid-paced thrashing of Kreator. Because of that, it is more or less a given that Black Rivers Flow is a good album, but regrettably, not a one that’ll amaze the listener.

The problem with the album is that it sounds like it’s at least a decade late. As far as the musical side goes, there isn't much I can fault these boys from Wisconsin for, besides being way too predictable, because the instruments themselves are well played-out. Just, there isn’t a single surprising moment to be found on the cd. The time signatures reek of Metallica, the verses are mostly composed of standard fare groove riffs, and the choruses are predictably catchy and soaring. Even the solos, which are well-executed by the way, sound unremarkable in the overall context (if we exclude the closer, "Eternal Vengeance"), despite the skillful delivery. Everything here just sounds way too similar to what bands like Metallica, Pantera, Anthrax and Kreator did years and years before Lazarus A.D.. And while throwback records are cool when done right, Black Rivers Flow feels more left behind than throwback.

But don’t make up your mind beforehand just yet, because in the end, it’s only the music that counts, and there are some tracks here that do stand out very well. The sad part, though, is that almost every good track is followed by an unremarkable one, which isn’t something you wish to see on a 9-track CD. For example, Black Rivers Flow starts out very well with "American Dreams" and "The Ultimate Sacrifice", which are both great tracks, the former being like a heavier Anthrax song and the latter being straight out of the pages of Pantera. But just as Lazarus seemingly settle into a groove, "The Strong Prevail" comes along - a song so incredibly dull I'm lost for words for it. This trend continues throughout the rest of the album, with the title track being great, "Casting Forward" and "Light A City (Up In Smoke)" being rather run of the mill, "Through Your Eyes" being solid again etc.

Ultimately, besides the somewhat dated feeling, that’s my main gripe with Black Rivers Flow: For every great song, there's an equally unimpressive one, leaving the package faulty as a whole. Black Rivers Flow is like that lovely old pooch you have living in the backyard. He can still charm you with his smile and antics, but at the same time, you know damn well he'll never be the guard dog you need (because you happen to live in the ghetto, that’s why). So you keep him around, let him amuse you and brighten your day (even if it’s only by a little), but eventually, you're still going to acquire a guard dog, or an alarm system, or a gun. That’s how it is with Lazarus A.D., too. They are nice guys and they play nice music, but if they wish to stand out from the crowd, they need to step up their game from here on, or we’re just going to end up acquiring something more serving that’ll make us forget about Black Rivers Flow - an album that is good for the occasional spin, but not much more. Lazarus A.D. have a decent foundation, now it is time for them to build upon it.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Powerban
January 25th 2011


2380 Comments


i might check this out. i'm up for something along these lines at the moment. awesome review as always.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2011


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks Powerban, appreciated as always. It's a good album, but not much more.

Also, whoo, review #80.

pizzamachine
January 25th 2011


12571 Comments


Super solid review. I checked out the album yesterday and was impressed/unimpressed if that makes any sense.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 25th 2011


10611 Comments


Pleasure to read. I actually thought I wanted to hear this, but the way you describe it makes it seem like something that I would want to pass on.....

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2011


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thank you for the kind words guys. Like I mentioned in the review, the album is good for a few spins and on a technical level it's competent, it's just not that surprising/exciting.

DoubtGin
January 25th 2011


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

review is as solid as it gets

but ugh this album

Darkvoid67
January 25th 2011


383 Comments


Cracking review Styles. This band sucks a biggie

Hawks
January 25th 2011


35838 Comments


Hawks?

Darkvoid67
January 25th 2011


383 Comments


I'm obviously obsessed with you. I don't know why the hell I did that.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2011


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah man, those damn Hawks's haha. Thanks regardless.

Fugue
January 25th 2011


7353 Comments


Try to imagine Master of Puppets-era Metallica having sex with Far Beyond Driven-era Pantera.


I'd rather not to be honest Mag, but good review nonetheless. I should probably start checking out more non-stellar-super-hyped metal albums again as I'm sure I'm missing out (and turning too indie in the process) and it seems your main problem is the overload of shit to complement the better tracks so I'll just check out the three you recommend in your review for now.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2011


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

haha, thanks Ross and yea, you can give the good tracks from here a go for sure.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2011


16434 Comments


Metallica and Pantera... and new Metallica and Pantera at that.... I'll steer far, far away. Review was excellent as usual Styles.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Tyrael
January 25th 2011


20893 Comments


For those who still long for new Metallica and Pantera material

Do they exist? Good review man.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2011


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

and new Metallica and Pantera at that
As for the summary, I meant new as in new records, not the new side of either band.

Thanks guys and yes, stylin' is what I do haha.

Ulsufyring
January 25th 2011


1724 Comments


and this is sadly the best my state has to offer

Spec
January 25th 2011


27188 Comments


Honestly. Fuck this.

Hawks
January 25th 2011


35838 Comments


I'm obviously obsessed with you. I don't know why the hell I did that.

Hahaha that's alright, it's understandable.

LastLight
January 25th 2011


76 Comments


Ulsufyring, not true! We got some good shit here in the wisco. Good review too! However I'm not really sure how a time signature can reek of Metallica..

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 26th 2011


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Every time signature and every tempo change here just instantly brings Kirk's playing into mind, that's how.



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